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Arizona Social Security Disability Blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Secret Threat to Disabled Arizona Homeowners

Q: Can a homeowner’s association foreclose for nonpayment of a homeowner’s single month of dues?

When a life-altering disability unexpectedly strikes you or a loved one, it will disrupt your life regardless of whether you planned well for it or not.

A skilled Arizona disability benefits attorney can help you in applying for disability benefits like Social Security disability insurance (“SSDI”).

They can also help you appeal a denial of benefits which is very common since almost 2/3 of initial applications for Social Security disability insurance benefits are initially denied.

Long-term disability insurance attorneys can help with filing initial claims, pursuing appeals, and providing ongoing advice regarding long-term disability and public benefit programs.

Even in the best-case scenario, when either long-term disability insurance benefits or SSDI benefits are awarded, there is still a gap between what was earned prior to the disability and what fraction the applicant and their family have to live on afterwards. It’s not uncommon for disabled people to fall behind on their bills, even if only for a few months while waiting for their benefits and spending down their nest eggs.

And for people in Arizona, there is a serious and not well-known problem that’s impacting countless disabled folks on fixed incomes which in some cases is rendering them homeless. It's the Homeowners Association (“HOA”).

Across the state, approximately half of all homeowners—able-bodied or disabled-- live in communities that are managed by HOAs. Most people know that the HOAs handle trivial matters like enforcing landscaping requirements, but they don’t realize that the HOA may also foreclose on homeowners as soon as they fall behind in paying their dues.

HOAs and management companies are unregulated and those running them are not required to be specifically trained or licensed. Often there is corruption and embezzlement. Frustrated homeowners who fall behind on a maintenance payment often find themselves unable to catch up due to exorbitant late fees, penalties, and interest and the prompt referral of their accounts to foreclosure firms, where attorney’s fees get added as well.

Obviously, someone who has become disabled and is awaiting benefits, might lose their home if they fall behind during this waiting process.  Arizona advocacy groups are "pushing for legislation that would clarify the HOA-initiated foreclosure process and add protections for homeowners". Until then, the disabled and others living on fixed incomes remain in danger of being foreclosed upon quickly if they fall behind on their dues.

If you are disabled and need assistance figuring out which benefits you may qualify for, or with filing an initial application or appealing a denial of benefits, the disability lawyers of Arizona at Roeschke Law can help you. And there's no fee unless you win. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson, we help disabled individuals and their families throughout Arizona.


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